« AnteriorContinuar »
For they, t.so'many, are one Body in Christ.
151 soberly according as God of himself with Modesty, Scbriety, and Humility; Sect. 27. hath dealt to every
according to the Measure of that Faith, and in cor-
any one may have received. 4 For as we have many Especially, when you remember, that this Di
4 all Members have not the stribution is made, not only, or chiefly, for
your own Sake, but out of Regard to the Good of the Whole : For as in one Body we have
many Members, but all the Members have not the same Use, but each proper Function and Service, appointed by
the wise Former, and gracious Preserver of the
should therefore endeavour each of us to know
make our various Capacities as serviceable as we
Having therefore Gifts, all proceeding from 6 that is given to us, whether God, the great Fountain of every good Thing, Prophecy, let us prophesy ac- and different according to the Diversity of the cording to the Proportion of Grace, that is given unto us : Whether [it be] Pro
phecy, as enabling us to foretel future Events, or
Proportion to the Degree of Faith, that is ref-
(f) According to the Proportion of Faith.] Many interpret this, “Do it according to the
general Scheme of Divine Revelation, not fetting up any novel Interpretations of Scrip“ ture, injurious to it.” But Raphelius, (Annot. ex Xen, in Loc.) objects that 2.0705, not avahoya, would be the proper Word to express that, Dr. Sam. Clarke, (Posthum. Serm. Vol
. i. pag. 6.) by Faith understands the Trust reposed in them, or the Nature and Use of the Gift they had ; which is a very unusual Senle of the Word misis
. The Rhemish Jesuits suppose, it was a Confesion, or Summary, of Faith, drawn up by all the
Apostles in Conjunction ; to which they refer, Rom. vi. 17: Chap. xvi. 17. i Tim. vi. 20. Gal. i. 6. Acts xv. 6. none of which Texts feem to imply any Thing like it; nor is it pretended, that such a Creed was ever qucted in Antiquity, by the Name of axaroyba misews, or indeed that I can find, by any other. If we suppose the prophetick Gist to be given in Proportion to the Exercise' of Faith, that is, of Dependance on God, when he signified a Dispoltion in ge; neral to impart it, we have I think the clearest Explication the Phrase will admit. See Vol. äi. pag. 322. Note (1) on Mark xi. 22.
152 They are to abhor Evil, and cleave to that which is Good. Sect. 27. Ministry, as Deacons, let a. Man employ himself wait on aur Ministering : on
he that teacheth, on Teachactively and faithfully in his Ministration (8): Rom. XII. 7. Or if he be an Instructor of Catechumens, who
are to be fitted for the Communion of the Church,
let him continue humbly, tenderly, and patiently 8 in the Work of Teaching :
8 Or he that exhorteth, Exhorter, whose peculiar Business it is, to urge giveth, let him do it with
on Exhortation : He that Christians to Duty, or to comfort them in the Simplicity; he that ruleth, Discharge of it, let him continue in his Exhor: with Diligence; he that tation : He that giveth any Thing to a charitable heweth Mercy with ChearUse, [let bim do it) with true Simplicity, and unfeigned Liberality of Heart ; neither seeking the Applause of Men, nor any other finister End, which he could desire to conceal : He that prefdeth in the Distribution of Charities, so collected, let him do it with Diligence (b); that he may know the Care proposed, and that he may
see, that nothing be wanting to make the Charity as effectual as possible: And as for him, that feweth Mercy, that is, who has the Care of those, who on Account of peculiarly grievous Calamities are the Objects of particular Compassion, let him do it with an obliging Chearfulness of Temper, cautiously guarding against any Disgust at what may seem mean and disagreeable, in the Offices, which must necessarily be performed for
such. 9 On the whole, [let] Love [be] undissembled, and 9 Let Love be without
all your Expressions of mutual Friendship, as. Disfimulation. Abhor that
which is Good.
(8) · Employ himself in Ministration.] It seems the Word 5w is understood. Compare 1 Pet. iv. 10, 11.--The Word daxonc properly signifies the Ministration of a Deacon; and fo interpreted, gives the distinctelt Sense.
(1) He that presideth with Diligence.] In this and the following Clause, I follow the Interpretation of Lord Barrington, (Misc. Sacra Vol. i. pag. 77,480.) and refer to him. for the Reasons, which I think fufficient to justify it; only mentioning the Application of the Word 7posalis, in the same Şense to Phoebe, Rom. xvi. 2. who could not be supposed a Ruler in the Church. Il passapevos, properly signifies one who presides, but, in what, the Connection must deternsine. For the extraordinary Mercy exercised among the ancient Christians, fee Lucián de Morte Peregrin. apud Opera, Vol. ii. pag. 764. Edit. Salinur. 1619. and Julian Epift. xlix.
To cultivate Love, and to be fervent in serving the Lord. 153
mination and Perseverance of Mind; whatever Sect. 27.
[be] mutually full of tender Affection (i), yea, cul-
Office of Respect (k), and out of Regard to their Advantage, to give up with as good a Grace as pof
sible, any Thing, in which his own Honour or 11 Not slothful in Bufi- personal Interest may be concerned. . When 11 ness : fervent in Spirit: serv
you are actually engaged, be not slothful and Nuging the Lord.
gish in the Prosecution of your proper Business in
may be dispatched with Vigour and Alacrity,
(1) In brotherly Love, [be] mutually full of tender Affection.] Perhaps the extremely expresfive Words of the Original, in Qiradacia sus amantes Pinosopyos, might justly be rendered, delight in the tenderest fraternal Affection to each other. The Word pinosopyor
, not only fignifying a strong Affection, like that of parent Animals to their Off-Spring, but a Delight in it, as the ingenious Dr. Balguy has observed in his excellent Sermon on this Text.
(k) Preventing them in every Office of Respect.] Archlishop Leighton, well observes, (Expository IVorks, Vol. ii. pag. 429.) that the original Words, in luum adanaes Trifonyxuevos, are very expressive, and might literally be rendered leading on each other with Respect, or in giving Honour going before each other. This I have endeavoured to express in this Clause of the Paraphrase, but have retained our Version, as expressing something of the Esteem, from which this respectful Behaviour should proceed. L'Enfant renders it, mutually prevent one another with Honour.
(1) Serving the Lord.] Several Copies for xupow read xanew, serving the Time, that is, hus-banding your Opportunities; and Dr. Mill
, trusting chiefly to the Authority of Jerome, and some other Latin Translations, admits this as the true Reading. But it is by no Means supported by an adequate Number of Greek Manuscripts ; and besides, that it would be an unnatural and inelegant Expression in that Sense, it sinks the noble Sense of the commonly received Reading so much, that I could by no Means persuade myself to follow it. It is a lively Exhortation to Christians to be always serving Christ
, and to cultivate the Temper, which the Apostle expresses, when he says spor lo viv Xpisos, Phil. i. 21. to me to live is Chrift
. It also suggests a Motive, to enforce the former Exhortation; as I have hinted in the Para- phrase. Vol. IV.
154 Refleɛtions on our Obligation to Piety, Humility, c. Sect. 27. are infinitely indebted. May you always attend
his Service with the greatest Zeal and Delight, Rom. XII. and may every Action of Life be brought into a due Subordination to that
I M P R O V E M E N T
W rich were a Christian in practical Directions for the Conduct of
Life, even if this excellent Chapter were his only Treasure of this Kind. Let such Scriptures as these be welcome to us; the Scriptures, that teach us our Duty, as well as those, that display before our Eyes the richest Variety of spiritual Priviledges. Indeed it is one of our greatest Priviledges, to be taught our Duty, if at the saine Time we are inclined by Divine Grace to perform it; and if we are not, we have no Priviledges, that will prevent, none that will not encrease, our Ruin.
Wisely does the great Apostle lay the Foundation of all Virtue in a Principle of unfeigned Piety towards GOD; in presenting before him our Bodies, as living Sacrifices
. How great an Honour and Happiness will it be to us, to do it.That we may be engaged to this, let us often think of his tender Mercies, so many and so great, and especially, of that most illustrious of all Mercies, his redeeming us by the Blood of his Son, and calling us into the Christian Covenant. Can there be a more reafonable Service than this ? That we should be consecrated to our Creator, to our Redeemer, to our Sanctifier, to our constant Benefactor, to our supream End and Happiness ?-_The World indeed neglects him, yea, even what is called the Christian World, neglects him, to such a Degree,
as, if we did not continually see it, we should not suppose to be possible. Ver. 2.
But let us not in this Instance be conformed to it. Oh that Divine Grace may to transform and renew our Hearts, that we may not! Nothing but Experience can teach us, how good, and perfect, and acceptable the Will of GOD is, and how happy a Thing it is to be governed, in every Respect, by its unerring Declarations.
Let us remember, that as our San&tification, so also our Humility, and our Usefulness, are his Will; and therefore let us endeavour to conquer every high Conceit of ourselves, and every sordid and selfish Sentiment. Let us often reflect, that we are all Members of each other; and being so
happily united in Christ, have all but one Interest, which is that of the Ver. 7, &c. Body, and of its glorified Head. Whether our Station in the Church be
more publick, or private ; whether our Capacities and Endowments be more or less distinguished ; let us all be faithful, be affectionate, be disinterested, be active, endeavouring to serve Christ, and even the poorest of his People, with Simplicity, with Diligence, with Chearfulness; prefer5.
Ver. 3. Ver. 4.
Christians are to rejoice in Hope, and to continue in Prayer;
155 ring others to ourselves; abhorring that Love, which is spent in hypocri- Sect. 27. tical Words, and unmeaning Forms ; cultivating that, which gives to the Soul Tenderness, Condescension, and Vigour. In one Word, let us remember, we are serving the Lord, the Lord Chrift; and doing all in Ver. 11. his Name, and for his Sake, let this add Fervour to our Spirit, Zeal to our Diligence, and Abasement to our Humility; for nothing surely can be so animating, nothing fo melting, nothing so humbling, as to recollect, on the one Hand, how much we owe him, and on the other, how little we are able, how much less we are careful, to do for his Service.
The Apostle pursues his pra&tical Exhortations, and particu
larly recommends Devotion, Patience, Hospitality, mutual Sympathy, Humility, a peaceful Temper, and a Readiness to forgive Injuries. Rom. XII. 12, to the End.
ROMANS XII. 12.
ROMANS XII. 12. Ejoicing in-Hope; pa HAVE been exhorting you, my Brethren, Sect. 28.
tient in Tribulation; continuing instant in Prayer:
to many Christian Duties and Graces, and among the rest to the greatest Activity and Zeal Rom. XII. in the Service of Christ. Let me also exhort you to guard against such a Dejection of Spirit, as would enervate that holy Activity and Zeal. On the contrary, [be] you, that are the Servants of Christ, always rejoicing in the Hope of those glorious Rewards, which your Divinc Maftei, in the Riches of his Grace, hath fut before you, and in that Support, which he gives you in the Way to that eternal Glory. And animated by that Hope, be patient in all the Tribulation, which you may bear in his Cause, or from his Hands, in the wise Disposals of his gracious Providence. And while under these Freffures, continuing instant in Prayer, draw down those neceliary Supplies of his Holy Spirit, which may
carry you honourably through all your Trials": 14 Distributing to the Liberally communicating to the Necessities of the 13 Necef